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February 22, 2011
The Camosun College Foundation, together with the Camosun College School of Business, is pleased to announce the RBC Foundation’s generous donation of $25,000 toward the exploration and development of a new Indigenous Business Access program at the College.
"We are starting to design a business access program intended to recognize Indigenous students interested in studying business leadership and administration, and to fully support them in their transition into first-year college," says Camosun's School of Business Dean Joan Yates.
Indigenous business students are in demand
Graduates with Indigenous business leadership, entrepreneurship and negotiation skills are in great demand. With the Indigenous population growing and many communities moving forward with treaty and other monetary settlements, Indigenous communities and leaders are looking to educational institutions to provide them with the tools to manage and lead business on and off reserves.
Meanwhile, a recent survey of local Aboriginal high school students indicates an interest in studying business, but a very small minority of these students meet the College's entrance requirements for a diploma.
"RBC has a long history of building strong relationships with Aboriginal people across Canada," said RBC Vice President of Commercial Banking Tom Siemens. "We recognize that Aboriginal communities and individuals have unique needs and we believe this program will meet those needs and equip these students with the business skills and knowledge required to excel as they embark on their careers."
"Thanks to RBC's support, we've begun meeting with the local community and school district Aboriginal coordinators and Camosun's current Indigenous students to develop the most relevant curriculum possible," says Program Leader Dianne Biin. "We want the program to be credited and provide a welcoming, supportive environment where students can gain learning strategies, complete missing prerequisite courses, and achieve a sense of confidence and belongingness so that they may be successful at college and in a business career."
The target audience includes Aboriginal students within Southern Vancouver Island's local high school districts, students at the Songhees and First Nations Friendship Centres and other students currently taking College Preparation courses at Camosun.
"We are extremely grateful to RBC for their support of this important project to assist more Indigenous students interested in pursuing careers in business," adds Yates. "Once we have community input, we plan to develop the program over the next year, and offer it by January 2012."
Camosun College Foundation
Last updated: April 16, 2019 12:38 pm